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Discovering Benin: A Guide to Unforgettable Road Touring Adventures

  • Posted 9 months ago
  • Road/Touring

Tourists frequently overlook Benin, a small but culturally rich West African country, in favor of more popular destinations. Those who venture into this enigmatic land, on the other hand, will be rewarded with a wealth of enriching and eye-opening experiences. Benin’s diverse landscapes, ranging from the palm-lined beaches of the Atlantic coast to the arid plains of the north, make it an ideal destination for road touring and exploration.

Hitting the Road: What To Expect

If you’re planning a road trip through Benin, you should do your research. The country’s road network is generally in good condition, especially the major highways that connect larger towns and cities. However, unpaved or poorly maintained roads in some rural areas may pose a challenge. Local drivers can be unpredictable, and road signs may not be in English, so it’s best to hire a local guide or use an offline GPS system.

Must-See Spots Along the Way

Cotonou to Ouidah

Begin your journey in Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin. Here, you can experience the bustling Dantokpa Market and the beautiful coastline. From Cotonou, make your way towards Ouidah, a city known for its historical significance in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The Route des Esclaves (Slave Route) and the Door of No Return are must-see landmarks that offer a poignant look into a dark chapter of human history.
Ouidah to Ganvie

Ganvie, Africa’s largest lake village, is easily accessible from Ouidah. The town is entirely built on stilts and offers a fascinating glimpse into traditional Beninese life. You can take a canoe tour through the village, exploring the intricate network of channels and stilt houses and possibly spot local fishermen at work.
Ganvie to Abomey

The journey continues to Abomey, the ancient capital of the Dahomey Kingdom. Through its well-preserved palaces and museums, this UNESCO World Heritage site provides insight into a bygone era of African royalty.
Abomey to Pendjari National Park

Pendjari National Park, located in the country’s far northwest, is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. This park is one of West Africa’s best-kept secrets, with elephants, lions, and a plethora of bird species to be seen. To get the most out of your visit, a guided safari is recommended.

Beyond the Tourist Trail

The ability to deviate from the beaten path is one of the attractions of road trips in Benin. Small villages and communities provide warm hospitality and an opportunity to learn about the Beninese way of life. Local markets are particularly lively places to sample regional cuisine and buy handmade crafts.

Final Thoughts

The ability to deviate from the beaten path is one of the attractions of road trips in Benin. Small villages and communities provide warm hospitality and an opportunity to learn about the Beninese way of life. Local markets are particularly lively places to sample regional cuisine and buy handmade crafts.

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